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Salem believes in an accessible local and regional transportation system that provides alternative modes of transportation and choices. Salem aims to have a true multimodal transportation system that encourages active and sustainable transportation choices for everyday trips and empowers all travelers to safely use the streets. The City recognizes the crucial role that a sustainable transportation system plays in opening up opportunities for the Salem community.


People should have options when choosing to get around the city regardless of their age and ability.

People have differing preferences and abilities, and therefore choice should be embedded in all parts of the transportation system. In many places, providing choice entails rebalancing streets after nearly 80 years of automobile-oriented investment. In other places, it means designing streets and sidewalks to be ensure safety and comfort for all users, particularly the elderly and people with disabilities.


Elements of the transportation system should connect, so that the system becomes multimodal.

It is unreasonable to expect all transportation modes to work for all trips, and creating independent systems for all transportation modes would be redundant in many places. The transportation system should allow travelers to string together different mode choices where appropriate.


Streets should be designed to enable active and sustainable transportation modes.

The transportation system will work best when people who can reasonably walk, bike, or use transit can do so safely, comfortably, and reliably. Making these modes work is especially important for trips taken along existing transit lines and for short trips within Salem and to adjacent communities. By enabling these modes, valuable “real estate” in the public right of way will become free. Allowing people to not use their cars unnecessarily relieves traffic congestion, increases retail foot traffic, fosters community, and ameliorates public health.


The transportation system should be design for safety and a “Vision Zero” standard

Major injuries and deaths from travelling are largely if not entirely preventable. Improper street designs, including those that incentivize fast travel speeds, can increase the likelihood of casualties. When reconfiguring streets, Salem should design for low speeds and low casualties in its neighborhoods. Ultimately, Salem should aim to have zero deaths and major injuries—a standard called “Vision Zero.”


The transportation system should complement neighborhoods.

Quality of life in Salem’s neighborhoods should be bolstered by the transportation system. Rather than communities accommodating inflexible transportation infrastructures, the transportation system should be designed with the unique character of each neighborhood in mind.

Imagine Salem Guiding Principles